In a little dark
shop on a side street an old man had laboured for years making axe
handles. Out of seasoned
hickory he fashioned them, with the help of a
draw shave, a chisel, and a
supply of sandpaper. Carefully was each
handle weighed and balanced.
No two of them were alike. The curve must
exactly fit the hand and must
conform to the grain of the wood. From
dawn until dark the old man
laboured. His average product was eight
handles a week, for which he
received a dollar and a half each. And
often some of these were
unsaleable--because the balance was not true.
To-day you can buy a better
axe handle, made by machinery, for a few
cents. And you need not worry
about the balance. They are all alike--and
every one is perfect. Modern
methods applied in a big way have not only
brought the cost of axe
handles down to a fraction of their former
cost--but they have immensely
improved the product.
It was the application of
these same methods to the making of the Ford
car that at the very start
lowered the price and heightened the quality.